At 04:00 today, Russian mercenaries from the Federal Security Service (FSB) raided seven houses of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea. Six people have been detained. They are charged with participation in the Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation in Russia.

Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov wrote on his Facebook page that the occupiers carried out investigative actions in the towns of Bakhchisaray, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Bilohirsk and in the village of Zapovitne of the Sovetsk district.

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova stated that activists of Crimean Solidarity and Crimean Childhood project for children of political prisoners, Lenur Seidametov, Azamat Eyupov, Timur Yalkabov, Yashar Shikhametov, Ernest Ibrahimov and Oleg Fyodorov, had been detained.

They were taken to the FSB Department in Crimea.

According to the Ukrainian ombudsperson, the actions of the occupiers violate the presumption of innocence, the right to liberty and security of person. In addition, searches were conducted without relevant court decisions, documents and lawyers. Denisova calls the persecution of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea religiously motivated.

Ukrainian law enforcement officers opened a criminal investigation into illegal searches and detentions in Crimea.

Meanwhile, the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea called the detention and night searches a war crime and persecution on political and religious grounds.

“The Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea condemns the recent actions of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, aimed at persecuting citizens solely for their political position or religion. Russia is once again committing a war crime, and the real goal of the occupier is to destroy any manifestations of resistance and solidarity in Crimea. The Mission’s team records each case of illegal political persecution carried out by the occupation administrations and conveys the information to law enforcement agencies, as well as uses it in its work at the national and international levels,” the statement reads.

Bohdan Marusyak

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